If you were to ask me for the one person who I most associate with Texas wine, the first name that would come to mind is Russ Kane. Based on his extensive knowledge and experience with Texas wine, one could hardly argue against Russ Kane for the title of Texas Wine Czar. In addition to writing the VintageTexas blog, he has organized numerous wine events around the state, been a judge at tastings, and he started the Houston chapter of the Wine Society of Texas. I am very proud to have Russ Kane participating in Taste Texas, and hope that you enjoy getting to know him better -
VintageTexas: The musings of a naturalized Texan searching for Texas Terroir, the
essence of a new wine producing region that is still trying to find its
Vinotology: How long have
you been blogging?
VintageTexas: I started the blog about two years ago as my writing workshop. After
thirty years as a technical writer and twelve years writing article
length pieces on Texas wine, I needed a forum to hone my skills for
chapter length deeper treatments about Texas wine. My stated goal was
“to write the next book that the Texas wine industry really needed”. The
response to www.vintagetexas.com/blog
has been extremely overwhelming and it has helped me to prepare for the
book that I am now under contract to write.
Vinotology: What was the
wine that changed your wine life?
VintageTexas: It was the first red wine I ever fell in love with. Over twenty years
ago a friend of a friend brought a bottle of fine red Bordeaux to a
dinner party. It was a first-growth, Saint-Émilion.
Rich and aromatic, one of the few Merlot-based wines I drink.
Vinotology: What is something that readers can get from
your blog that they might night find elsewhere?
VintageTexas: An understanding of why certain places in Texas are natural places to
grow grapes and make good wine. It has a three hundred year wine culture
that started with the Spanish missionaries that just about got beat to
death by Comanches, Civil War, Prohibition and Post-Prohibition
fundamentalist religion. Texas will not be a clone of your California
wine experience. It is really something more a kin to southern Europe
from the soils, climate and varieties of grapes that will lead the Texas
Vinotology: Tell me about
the wine scene in your area.
VintageTexas: It is a period of discovery for all parties involved: winegrowers,
winemakers and consumers. New growing methods are developing for Texas
and new varietals are hitting the market shelves like Tempranillo,
Viognier, Mourvedre, Vermentino, Aglianico, and more. Really exciting if
your tastes range beyond Cab, Chard, Merlot and Pinot.
Vinotology: I don't suppose I really need to ask, but since I'm asking everyone this question, have you tasted Texas wine, and what are your thoughts?
VintageTexas: Other than old Chesley Sanders that retired from Lone Star Wines in Fort
Worth, I have probably tasted more Texas wine than anyone. My frank
impression is that there is good, bad and great wines being made here.
Things are still evolving. My one hope is that winemakers get more
aggressive with red wines to seek color and extraction. With our present
shortage of Texas grapes, I get the feeling that most do not want to
screw anything up and play a conservative hand.